Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Set Apart Femininity - Chapter 6, Part I

Sacred Cultivation

Unearthing Femininity's Valiant Strength

"One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it and believe it."
- Leonard Ravenhill

Pain - Friend or Foe?

One of the main reasons that so many of us are burdened with our troubles is that we don't take them to Jesus. He wants to carry all of our burdens, big and little, important and fleeting. The help that Jesus gives us is not only spiritual, but practical. He doesn't just want to be our Savior, he wants to be our everything.

He is my Portion (Psalm 73:26)
my Maker, my Husband (Isaiah 54:5)
my Well-beloved (Song of Solomon 1:13)
my Savior (2 Peter 3:18)
my Hope (1 Timothy 1:1)
my Brother (Mark 3:35)
my Helper (Hebrews 13:6)
my Physician (Jeremiah 8:22)
my Healer (Luke 9:11)
my Refiner (Malachi 3:3)
my Purifier (Malachi 3:3)
my Lord, Master (John 13:13)
my Servant (Luke 12:37)
my Example (John 13:15)
my Teacher (John 3:2)
my Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
my Keeper (John 17:12)
my Feeder (Ezekiel 34:23)
my Leader (Isaiah 40:11)
my Restorer (Psalm 23:3)
my Resting-place (Jeremiah 50:6)
my Meat (John 6:55)
my Drink (John 6:55)
my Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7)
my Peace (Ephesians 2:14)
my Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30)
my Righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30)
my Sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30)
my Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30)
and my All in All (Colossians 3:11).


We often claim that God is causing our troubles. He's beating down on us, making our life terrible. We think that its God's fault that our life is full of trouble, but its not God, the Bible states:
"If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me." Isaiah 54:15

Leslie shares about a time in her life when troubles seemed to come from all sides and she learned that it was the evil one and not God who was attacking her.
"As I prayed about the fierce attacks upon my life, God gently opened m eyes to realize that the hits were not coming from Him - they were coming from the enemy of my soul. God did not want me to resign myself to accepting these attacks. Rather, He wanted me to call upon His name and allow Him to come to my rescue... I hadn't been resisting the enemy's blows because I had assumed they were coming form God - or at least being allowed by God for the purpose of discipline... [However] He didn't want me to accept it. He wanted me to stand up and fight by the power of His spirit."

We need to realize the stark differences between the way God works in our lives and the way Satan works.

Light versus Darkness: First Peter 2:9 says that God calls us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. Light has distinct qualities: clear, not confused, not blurry, but instead its bright, cheerful and hopeful. If the devil is the prince of darkness, he is the prince of all things that are fearful, confused, indistinct, dim and forbidding. Therefore, remember that anything of confusion, fear or darkness is not from God.

Life versus Death: John 10:10 says that Christ came to give us life that we might have it more abundantly. The qualities of that abundant life include: happiness, health, wholeness, strength, purity, spiritual success and multiplication of blessings. Death's characteristics are disease, sickness, blindness, deafness, muteness, lameness, disorder, feebleness, erosion of strength, erosion of blessings and erosion of resources. Anything breeding these qualities of death in our lives is NOT from God.

Father of Lights versus Father of Lies: According to James 1:17 God is the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow of turning. Scripturally, the Father of Lights is defined as the giver of good and perfect gifts, who is merciful, long-suffering, gentle, quick to forgive, strong to protect, able and eager to rescue us, and a tender deliverer from the world that is so quick to ensnare us. On the other hand, the enemy, the father of lies is a snuffer of life and hope, a condemner, a whisperer of fault, a noisome critic of the soul, a doubter of God's ability, a persecutor of the spirit, an advocate for the flesh, a constant diminisher of God's name. So, anything that causes us to lose hope or diminishes our confidence in God is not from our Lord.

Discipline versus Abuse: Hebrews 12:5-7 compares godly discipline to that of a loving, devoted father. This discipline is expressed in love. The enemy works only with abuse. "He is cruel, angry, harsh, extreme, and breathes threats of abandonment and forsaking." Satan's abuse makes one sick, breaks down the spirit and disrupts intimacy with God. Anything of an abusive nature that comes against us is not from God.

Bridegroom versus Harsh Husband: All throughout scripture Christ is referred to as our loving Bridegroom. This Bridegroom is a patient listener, affectionate, an advocate and rescuer, willing to give up his life to save and quick to respond to the needs of his bride. The enemy's ways are like a harsh husband - cold, impatient, haughty, never pleased, distant, demanding controlling, verbally and physically abusive and selfish. Anything of the nature of a harsh husband that comes against us is not from God.

This list from the book is meant to serve as a guide to distinguish attacks from the devil from God molding our lives and our character. "We are to gladly embrace any hardship that truly comes from God, while firmly resisting any difficulty that comes from the enemy."

Catherine Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) wrote in a letter, "Do not give way to lowness while you are young. Rise up on the strength of God and resolve to conquer!"

Don't let the evil acts of Satan bring you down. "Rather, we should rise up on the strength of God and resolve to conquer all that stands in the way of abundant, thriving, victorious, set-apart lives He has called us to live."

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